Highlights: Delicious well-balanced sandwich
Lowlights: Market prices
Determined to catch at least a brief glimpse of this year’s installment of Madison Square Eats, I finally made the trip down to Flatiron to patronize the popular outdoor food fair. I was flooded with a familiar layout of usual suspects, as well as a few delicious-looking newcomers. After careful deliberation, I decided to try out Mayhem & Stout’s meaty sandwich offering. I’m happy to say it proved to be a great choice.
There was a nice variety of hero combinations to chose from at the Mayhem booth. Customers are presented options from three different sections: meat, sauce, and add-on. I opted for my first instinct: beef brisket with dragon BBQ and slaw. What a great combination! The meat was moist and flavorful, and melt in your mouth consistency. There was also a heaping amount of it packed in. The slaw was crisp and creamy, and did a nice job of balancing out the soft texture the meat imposed. The sauce was very tasty, but I found myself wanting a bit more spice at the end. If you’re going to label something dragon, it should leave you breathing fire. The bread was good, but a little hard. I’ll chalk it up to the end of the day.
At ten bucks, this sandwich clocked in a little bit under a lot of the other market foods, but I’d still call it a touch overpriced. I did appreciate the amount of food here, and the portion left me feeling full and satisfied. This definitely wouldn’t have been the case at some of the more chic-looking spots at MS Eats. Still, if I’m paying 10+ dollars for a sandwich alone, I can’t call it a bargain by any means.
If you’re heading to Madison Square Eats, don’t expect it to be a timely affair. Lines are often insanely long; you could find yourself waiting on the most coveted food spot for a good twenty minutes. Since I went at dinner time, the lines were [slightly] smaller and luckily Mayhem & Stout had only a few in the queue. Within two minutes of ordering, my food was in my hands ready to be consumed. Bonus points for taking credit cards as well.
Mayhem did a great job of presenting their well-crafted sandwich. Loaded up with all the fixings and laid out on a bed of wax paper, the meal was just waiting to be consumed. Good job by the guys in this category.
I figured it’d be a shame to skip dessert with so many options staring me in the face, so I also indulged myself with a macaroon ice cream sandwich from Macaron Parlour. I went for the “triple threat” which is vanilla ice cream with fudge and caramel sandwiched between two mouth-watering macaroons. This also turned out to be a great decision. The flakiness of the macaroons lent a nice counterpoint to the rich texture of the ice cream. And while I found myself wanting for more bites containing a chocolate/caramel combo, I found it easy to overlook with my mouth full up with the perfect macarons.
Macaron Parlour sold macarons for $2.50 each or a [bigger] two-piece ice cream sandwich for $5. To me, this was the obvious choice. It was basically like getting the ice cream for free. Again, no record-breakers here but I thought about how much a Cold Stone type ice cream place charges for similar portions, and this wasn’t too far off.
There’s not too much to serving a pre-made sandwich, but the Parlour did a good job of it. With a quick exchange of money, I had my dessert treat ready to go instantly.
Macaron Parlour handed me over a neatly-wrapped ice cream marvel that was ready to go as fast as I could expose it. It seemed to be the perfect amount of ice cream, and it was great to see the swirls of chocolate and caramel decorating the inside of the treat. It’s a pretty straight forward treat, but they did a solid job of highlighting the best parts of the dessert.
Madison Square Eats has a lot to offer foodies from across the midtown area. No matter what you’re in the mood for, chances are this street fair will have something to offer. Just make sure you give your boss the heads-up that you’ll be taking the full hour for lunch that day.